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Office of the Mufti

Part 7 - Advisory on Online Marriage Solemnization (English)

IRSYAD (RELIGIOUS GUIDANCE)

ONLINE MARRIAGE SOLEMNIZATION

1. The Office of the Mufti has received a question from the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) on 8 April 2020, whether marriage solemnizations (nikah) can be  conducted online/virtually where circumstances do not permit physical solemnizations, such as during a pandemic outbreak.

Religious Opinion

2. The religious view in Islamic law is that virtual marriage solemnization is permitted as long as the conditions for a nikah can be fulfilled.[1] In principle, the use of video-conference for marriage and divorce proceedings is an administrative arrangement that does not affect the validity or otherwise of such proceedings. The Fatwa Committee issued a fatwa in 1999 which permits the use of video-conferencing methods to discuss the wife’s divorce application and to verify the husband’s pronouncement of divorce in prison, without the need for the husband to appear in court.[2]

3. In view of current circumstances where safe distancing must be observed to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Office of  the Mufti is of the opinion that solemnizers at the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) may solemnize marriages via video conference if the need arises, as long as they can ensure that all the conditions set out under Islamic law on the validity of the nikah are fulfilled. These include ascertaining the identities of all parties involved and that there are no objections and/or impediments to the nikah as recognised under Islamic law.

 

24 April 2020

THE OFFICE OF THE MUFTI
ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS COUNCIL OF SINGAPORE



[1] Sheikh Wahbah al-Zuhayli is of the opinion that any contract including the marriage contract conducted via phone or internet is permitted as long as the utterance of the marriage proposal and agreement (Ijab and Kabul) by the legal guardian (Wali) and the groom is not edited or forged, and that there exists no element of fraud and the bride did not conceal the marriage from her legal guardian (Wali). See: Majma’ al-Fiqh al-Islāmī al-Duwalī, Majallah Majma’ al-Fiqh al-Islāmī, vol 6, p 669

[2] MUIS Fatwa Decision, 3 November 1999. In 2011, the Fatwa Committee of the National Fatwa Council Malaysia determined that in the event of an obstruction of the marriage solemnization at the designated place, marriage solemnization through video conferencing is permitted as long as the event is conducted with certainty, with no elements of fraud, and complies with all the pillars and conditions of a valid marriage, and by the legal guardian himself. Please see: http://e-smaf.islam.gov.my/e-smaf/fatwa/fatwa/find/pr/10288